The EMEA hardware market was buffered from the cold wind of recession late last year as a result of strong sales of mini-notebooks in the run up to Christmas.
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According to IDC’s figures for the fourth quarter of last year the PC market could only produce growth of 1.8% year on year but Western Europe produced levels of 11.9% that were buoyed by netbook demand.
"As expected, the Christmas season saw continued uptake of mini-notebooks driven by strong vendor push, with several manufacturers launching new products from October onwards, stimulating fierce competition for retail shelf space," said Eszter Morvay, senior research analyst for IDC.
But there were warnings from the analyst house that the rest of this year would not be as strong as consumer spending inevitably declined in the face of continuing difficulty in the economy.
But the analyst house said that the increasingly important role played by the telco companies in driving sales of notebooks and netbooks would continue to contribute to market growth.
In terms of the vendor rankings for PC shipments for Q4across EMEA the top position was taken by Hewlett-Packard with Acer, Dell and Asus following up with all bar Dell producing increases in market share.
For the full year the same order of vendors dominated the market with HP holding 20.1% market share of EMEA PC shipments followed by Acer on 17.1% and Dell on 10.7%.
In a sign that the expectations in the industry are of market shrinkage last week Notebook SKU builder Compal slashed its annual shipment and spending forecast in the face of the shrinking market.
The Taiwan-based firm is the world’s second largest contract notebook builder and supplies Acer, Hewlett-Packard and Lenovo.
Compal said it expected total 2009 shipments to come in at around 32 million, three million lower than previously forecast, and added that it planned to halve its spending plans by 50% this year.